she’s a changeling; they get reborn all the time
I have no idea when and how I will do it, but I suspect that one of these years, Ree is going to find her way into some piece of fiction I write.
She was my Changeling character in a long-running LARP, and over the course of five years of playing her, I worked up a fascinatingly complex framework for the metaphysics of her personality. She was a changeling: a faerie in a human body, which meant that psychology and metaphysics and narrative were essentially three sides of the same coin (and hey, it’s the Dreaming; why can’t a coin have three sides?). I don’t know why she came to mind tonight, but she did, and I found myself re-reading the transcript of a scene I once ran via e-mail. Jadael hosting people at his manor for some kind of party — I don’t remember why — and Ree in the middle of her cyclical Court change, which meant she was Unseelie and overwhelmed by fatalism and taking it out on everybody around her. So Jadael, being the perfect host, took her to a building out back and let her beat the ever-living shit out of him in a fight . . . because that was clearly what she needed. Which was both true, and not. It probably wasn’t good for her. But it made her feel better, because she had more anger than she knew what to do with, and whaling on Jadael with her fists let her inflict the fatalism on him, too, and make him bleed into the bargain. And there’s the whole layer that got added in by the Mesoamerican faerie stuff I had invented — stuff which got reworked into “A Mask of Flesh” and several other stories from that setting I haven’t finished and sold yet — Ree formally thanking Jadael at the end for giving her blood, which meant more than he realized, because of the concept of a debt of blood and what it signified to her. She was a diamond that had been shattered, and ultimately I got her out of the pit of her Court change and her fatalism by way of a metaphor, Ree understanding that you don’t fix a diamond by gluing it back together, you recognize that what you have — what you are — is coal, and you make a new diamond through unspeakable pressure over a long period of time.
I don’t think you can tell that story with a human being. Whatever I do with it would have to be higher-fantasy than that, because you need somebody whose soul is a story, somebody who exists through and for the telling of stories, who can re-tell her own story to fix what got destroyed so long ago. Somebody whose psychological problems are metaphysical and metaphorical at their root, tied up in diamonds and blood and fire and ice. Parts of it will go away, I’m sure: the two jaguars and her totemic tie to them, which is straight out of the Mesoamerican stuff and will wind up in the Xochitlicacan stories if it winds up anywhere. The specific framework of the Changeling cosmos, with Seelie and Unseelie and Ree as an eshu. Many of the characters she interacted with. But something about the core is still there in my mind, simmering away, and like blood, it will out.
Someday. Somehow. I’ll let you know when it does.